What do Apple, Juul, and Supreme all have in common? Perhaps a better question would be, “what don’t they have in common?” The answer is clutter. All three brands can thank their seemingly inexplicable popularity not to innovation, nor to novelty, but rather to minimalistic marketing. This has created the fundamental structure of modern pretentiousness, and of affluent teenage cult followings. The less a product has cluttering its consumer’s periphery, the more willing that person is to shell out $1,000 on a slab of glass waiting to be shattered, $100 on what is essentially an artificially flavored USB-drive, and $230 on the literal, old fashioned, clay-and-shale, kiln-fired brick featured in Supreme’s novelty accessories line.

So why is minimalist marketing so effective? In a chaotic, crazy, and ever-changing world, there’s no better way to stand out than to contrast things with a lack thereof. Additionally, it increases the extrinsic value of the product to the consumer, making it easier for companies to jack up the price of their product to triple that of their competitor. From what I’ve observed, there seems to be a positive correlation between price and willingness to purchase. People often covet products with outrageous price-tags because they believe there is a reason it’s that expensive. Well let me tell you, unless that brick can help me circumvent college applications, AP testing, Tam Junction traffic, and mortality, whatever the reason is, it isn’t good enough.

Because Apple is an indisputable pioneer in minimalistic marketing, people seem to genuinely convince themselves that if something abstractly resembles/ fully rips off Apple’s sleek marketing style, it means a safe, reliable, and quality product. It’s actually incredible how chic marketing can cause so many people to overlook what they’re actually purchasing, like an unaffordable nicotine habit (it’s not addiction if it tastes like mango… right guys? Guys?), and a brick. I don’t know how else to emphasize the outlandishness of buying a brick for $230. I swear someone would buy my fingernail off me if I drew a Supreme logo on it.

For the sake of your well-being, not to mention the well-being of your wallet, it’s probably smart to justify your purchase with a variety of reasons, none of which should be “it’s the Apple of [insert class of product here]” or “it has a red box logo with the word ‘supreme’ inside”, or even “I need to protect my health-conscious, anti-big-tobacco Marinite image but I love catching a fatty dome” It’s time we start to think for ourselves, instead of hiring a 25 year-old, microdosing, Range-Rover-driving techie named Brandon to think for us, because people like him finesse us every day; we’re just too busy staring at the bricks they manipulate us into buying to notice. ♦


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